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Tired Of The Scary Campaign Ads? This Speech Is Nothing But Rational.

This is Andrew Tobias, treasurer of the Democratic National Committee. You don't need to know who he is to get something out of his speech at the convention Tuesday night. In less than four minutes, Tobias sums up the Democratic platform.

Tired Of The Scary Campaign Ads? This Speech Is Nothing But Rational.
Courtesy of Ms. Lopez
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Marcella Lopez didn't always want to be a teacher — but once she became one, she found her passion. That's why she's stayed in the profession for 23 years, spending the past 16 at her current school in Los Angeles, where she mostly teaches children of color.

"I wanted purpose, to give back, to live a life of public service, to light the spark in others to think critically and to be kind human beings," she says. "More importantly, I wanted my students to see themselves when they saw me, to believe they could do it too."

Ms. Lopez didn't encounter a teacher of color until college. "That moment was life-changing for me," she recalls. "It was the first time I felt comfortable in my own skin as a student. Always remembering how I felt in that college class many years ago has kept me grounded year after year."

It's also guided her teaching. Ms. Lopez says she always selects authors and characters that represent her students and celebrate other ethnicities so students can relate to what they read while also learning about other cultures.

"I want them to see themselves in the books they read, respect those that may not look like them and realize they may have lots in common with [other cultures] they read about," she says.

She also wants her students to have a different experience in school than she did.

When Ms. Lopez was in first grade, she "was speaking in Spanish to a new student, showing her where the restroom was when a staff member overheard our conversation and directed me to not speak in Spanish," she recalls. "In 'this school,' we only speak English," she remembers them saying. "From that day forward, I was made to feel less-than and embarrassed to speak the language of my family, my ancestors; the language I learned to speak first."

Part of her job, she says, is to find new ways to promote acceptance and inclusion in her classroom.

"The worldwide movement around social justice following the death of George Floyd amplified my duty as a teacher to learn how to discuss racial equity in a way that made sense to my little learners," she says. "It ignited me to help them see themselves in a positive light, to make our classroom family feel more inclusive, and make our classroom a safe place to have authentic conversations."

One way she did that was by raising money through DonorsChoose to purchase books and other materials for her classroom that feature diverse perspectives.

Courtesy of Ms. Lopez

The Allstate Foundation recently partnered with DonorsChoose to create a Racial Justice and Representation category to encourage teachers like Ms. Lopez to create projects that address racial equity in the classroom. To launch the category, The Allstate Foundation matched all donations to these projects for a total of $1.5 million. Together, they hope to drive awareness and funding to projects that bring diversity, inclusion, and identity-affirming learning materials into classrooms across the country. You can see current projects seeking funding here.

When Ms. Lopez wanted to incorporate inclusive coloring books into her lesson plans, The Allstate Foundation fully funded her project so she was able to purchase them.

"I'm a lifelong learner, striving to be my best version of myself and always working to inspire my little learners to do the same," she says. Each week, Ms. Lopez and the students would focus on a page in the book and discuss its message. And she plans to do the same again this school year.

"DonorsChoose has been a gamechanger for my students. Without the support of all the donors that come together on this platform, we wouldn't have a sliver of what I've been able to provide for my students, especially during the pandemic," she says.

"My passion is to continue striving to be excellent, and to continue to find ways to use literature as an anchor, depicting images that reflect my students," she says.

To help teachers like Ms. Lopez drive this important mission forward, donate on DonorsChoose.

Courtesy of Ms. Lopez

Emily Ratajkowski discusses Pete Davidson's appeal.

Pete Davidson, 27, has earned the reputation as one of Hollywood's most prolific ladies' men for dating some of the most beautiful A-list women over the past three years. However, there are a lot of people out there who don't understand the "Saturday Night Live" star's appeal.

Davidson is tattooed from head to toe. He suffers from Crohn's disease, has done multiple stints in rehab, describes himself as looking like a "crack baby" and only recently moved out of his mother's basement on Staten Island.

But he's also been one of the most popular cast members on "SNL" for the past seven years and co-wrote and starred in the critically acclaimed, "The King of Staten Island."


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Courtesy of Jamel Holmes
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As a kid, Jamel Holmes knew he wanted to be a teacher. He would spend rainy days giving spelling tests and playing math games with other children in his apartment building in New York's South Bronx.

But throughout elementary school, Holmes never had a teacher who looked like him. It wasn't until seventh grade that he had his first Black male teacher—Mr. Emdin. In some ways, he was lucky. Nearly 80% of teachers in the U.S. are white, and many Americans go their entire educations without having even one non-white teacher.

Teachers of color make a difference, which is why education nonprofit DonorsChoose has teamed up with The Allstate Foundation to support them. According to research from Johns Hopkins University and American University, having at least one Black teacher in grades three through five reduces the likelihood of Black students dropping out of high school by up to 39% and increases the likelihood that students from low-income households will aspire to attend college. An analysis published in Education Next also found that Black teachers tend to have higher expectations of Black students, which contributes to greater success.

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Roger Williams Park Zoo on Facebook.

What do you get when you give three elephants a private violin concert? Bliss. Pure bliss.

Kate (the matriarch), Ginny (the middle-slash-problem child) and Baby Alice, beloved residents at the Roger Williams Park Zoo, received their very own V.I.P. show from Kevin Lowther, aka Big Lux. Though Big Lux is classically trained, his style leans toward a unique blend of jazz, bluegrass and hip hop, according to his bio.

Basically, these elephants were in for a really great show.

In a Facebook post, the zoo spokesperson said that the music "provided our girls with voluntary visual and auditory enrichment." Music, play time and other forms of interaction improves quality of life and "stimulates their senses," eliciting "natural behaviors from hearing new sounds." Natural behaviors such as waving their trunks to the beat in the most adorable way, apparently.
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A mom shared five years of daycare pickups, with her son squealing in delight every time.

There is nothing more pure in this world than the love between a child and a caring parent. But even in the world of healthy attachments and strong family bonds, this viral video takes the cake.

Twitter user @TeesePeese shared a compilation of highlights showing her son's reaction at daycare pickup, and it's seriously the most precious thing ever.

"I really do love this video," she wrote. "I recorded my son's pick up almost every day and this is his reaction every single time. For his 5th bday (yesterday) I took my favorites and made a lil compilation, from infancy to just last week."

The squeals. The smiles. The skipping for joy. Gracious, it doesn't get any sweeter.

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